With effect from 1 July 2018, a new withholding regime for GST will require purchasers to withhold an amount from the purchase price for ‘new residential premises’ and for ‘potential residential land’ where the supply of those types of land is a taxable supply made by the vendor. This is the first instance, outside the reverse-charge rules under the A New Tax System (Goods and Services Tax) Act 1999 (the GST Act), where the recipient of a taxable supply has an obligation to remit the GST payable on a taxable supply to the Australian Taxation Office.

The new regime was legislated by Schedule 5 of Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Act 2018 (the TLAA). This amends Schedule 1 of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth) by inserting new sections 14-250 and 14-255 and subject to the transitional rules as set out below.

This, in addition to the CGT withholding regime for non-residents, has introduced additional challenges for tax advisors and conveyances alike when advising and acting for purchasers and vendors in real property transactions covered by the regime.